Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by Linnear, Sep 24, 2012.
Amazing, completely blown away by this....
Again, I'm not saying there can't be cinematic "fun" to be had with the story; just that I would have done it a little differently.
We should nitpick so the guys working on this can take our comments into consideration. I showed the clip to a CGI artist yesterday. He loved (and I mean LOVED) the space sequences, but he felt the CGI images of cities looked like something out of a video game.
Frankly, I didn't notice this. I am a TOS fan and TOS was not built on special effects, so the effects don't need to be perfect as far as I am concerned.
Good point! I had to go back and watch for the city scenes. I see what you are saying. Have you posted this on their Facebook/axanar page? There is a discussion going there about the video in the post for the video. Feedback highly desired!
I wonder if something as "simple" as more Skyscraper Glass would help...
Duane, please have that artist contact me and tell me how to improve the city shots. I´m always open to improve things.
Most of the characters we see in the "Prelude" short will not play a major role in Axanar, so there are still plenty of characters to worry about whether they are going to survive or not ...
Tobias, I will try to get his feedback. I am seeing him on Saturday, so give me a few days. I doubt he is a specialist in "city scenes" but let's see what he can contribute.
diriel, I did not post this on FB. For me it is enough to know that Tobias is in the loop.
I suspect that it is a simple matter of detailing the buildings. "Fire" seems hard to get right, but the "fire" looked good to me.
That Tobias is on it, is one of the reasons I like this project so much. Pretty much all of them are 'approachable', they are all-up Trekkies first and foremost!
The SFX and the actors Hatch, Hertzler, Vernon, Graham really blow me away. Heart and Soul and CG Magic... Wow.
The only difficulty I see with such a project is, how Alec Peters manages to deal with all those professional surroundings. Given that Garth is the central figure in this play it's a daring game to throw him in midst of all the others. What I've seen from the teaser, he's good regarding fan film standards... but OMG, the others...
That's my gripe with casting Pros in fan films.
First - they cost you money... but well, the fundraising generation is proceeding, isn't it?
Second - They make their amateur counterparts look like... amateurs.
Especially when the sky is full of 'em. One Guest Star - ok, we had it in the past and we mostly loved it. But "The Magnificent Five" together with - say - Robert Ordinary?
I said it before - it's a daring game. It can go well, Axanar might prove to be an extraordinary experience... given that those 5 will be seen as more a help for Peters. Otherwise he would be just... there. That would be a real pity.
I have been a fan of Tobias' work since the days of the Amiga, and I have no qualms with the execution of his work. He's an artist, and calling him "talented" undersells what he can do. Please consider the following in the context of what it is: actively straining to find something that *I* feel might need tweaking. As such, it's all highly subjective.
00:00 - 00:13. I don't like really dense asteroid fields. They're a trope in science fiction since The Empire Strikes Back and they simply don't look like that. The rings of Saturn are less dense. Our solar system has a significant asteroid field between Mars and Jupiter, and if it was as dense as what's seen all the time in SF productions, it would look like a great arc cutting through the night sky -- and would probably be visible in daylight, too. Asteroids have mass. With mass comes gravity. When you have enough asteroids that close together, they will condense into a planet in very little time.
00:14 - 00:17. Gorgeous. Simple, understated, but I like it. It hearkens back to the opening of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
00:18 - 00:20. Good, but I think the cinéma vérité camera shake looks a little artificial. It could use more fine jitter. I'm also not a fan of starships hanging so close to the ground. I'm old-school on this and don't think they belong in an atmosphere without lots of special engineering. Still, it's a dramatic shot.
00:21 - 00:27. Tony Todd as Ramirez. Nice angle, nice contrast and lighting.
00:28 - 00:30. Exquisite model work on the Ares and space dock. But the dock itself looks a little flat. There isn't enough variety and texture. I also think there's a little too much ambient occlusion shadow wash over the bridge superstructure.
00:31 - 00:34. More Tony Todd. But the backdrop with Earth and the starfield looks wrong. Take a look at close photos of the Earth sometime and you'll see that the planet is so bright that it washes out the stars. It's a mistake we see all the time in Star Trek productions, and just one we have to live with ... like sound in space. The closeup on Todd also shows a huge number of stars behind him that just looks distracting.
00:35 - 00:38. The Ares in dock. I love the design and execution, but the hull looks dull and lifeless here. Maybe it's the lighting. Maybe, since there's an Aztec pattern, I keep expecting the hull to glisten in subtle hues the way the Enterprise did in ST:TMP. At the same time, the nacelles look great. And I wish the Ares had those three little round window things up front the way the original Enterprise did.
00:39 - 00:50. J.G. Hertzler -- damn that guy was great in DS9! I have the same shrugs about the background.
00:51 - 00:53. The Ares in a nebula or atmosphere. No complaints ... the ship looks much nicer here.
00:54 - 00:57. Khaaaaaaaarrrrrnnnn! Nice makeup on Richard Hatch. He's not a sneering caricature of evil, either, but obviously an intelligent man. It's a welcome take on Klingons. My wife thinks his ridges are too subtle, but there's tons of variety in Klingon foreheads. Besides, the Augment virus might have had subtle effects on Kharn.
00:58 - 01:09. Ambassador Soval. I loved this character. I assume that's Vulcan outside the window. It's odd that the stars are all tinted amber -- is that the result of color correction?
01:10 - 01:11. Wreck of the (Kelvin?). Billowing fireball in space. NASA has some footage out there of what fire in a micro-g environment would look like, even if someone can figure out how to get the oxygen the fireball needs in a vacuum. Yeah, yeah, I know. It's beautiful anyway. It'd be boring my way. Leave it.
01:12 - 01:14. Nice. Simple, no distracting background (see that JJ?!) Kate sells the scene in just two seconds of acting.
01:14 - 01:16. Kate again, different scene. Same problem with starfield. Seriously, is that even a problem? It looks nice anyway.
01:17 - 01:20. Shush, I'm drooling. And look! The three round things on the front of the ships! I wonder what they do.
01:21 - 01:26. Kate and Richard. I like the hilt on his sword. Good detail work on the prop.
01:27 - 01:30. The U.S.S. Leonov unleashes a fusillade of energy bolts. One of the things I did like about J.J.'s movie was the introduction of new weapon designs on Starfleet vessels. There isn't a thing wrong with this shot that I can see.
01:31 - 01:35. Richard interrupts Tobias' work again, dammit.
01:36 - 01:50. Wow. WOW. WOW! Alright, wait a minute, let me think, I'm supposed to be nitpicking. Ah! Do the ships have to be so tightly packed together? Shouldn't they be tens of miles away from each other at the very least? This is something that started with DS9 ... pack in the ships really tight and make it look more dramatic. I wish someone would break this trope and try to find a way to dramatically depict battles at realistic ranges.
01:51 - 01:52. That yammering Klingon interrupts the action again!
01:53 - 01:55. A nice cityscape. I agree with Duane's CG artist friend. There is something a little cartoonish about them. Maybe more variety in building texture? Most of them look like they're made out of the same batch of poured concrete. But I love the homage to TOS city architecture.
01:55 - 01:56. Those phasers hitting the city are like a gut punch. But I get the feeling that they look like they should be doing more damage. Buildings should be actively crumbling as the beams draw near ... heat shimmers should be coming off of them ... blast shimmers, too, like you see off big bombs. Those beams should be hitting the city with a force that dwarfs lightning they're twin fingers of God, sowing destruction.
01:57 - 01:58. The aftermath. I buy it.
01:59 - 02:10. Garth of Izar. My biggest fear for this production revolves around this man. Is he any good? Will he actually be able to carry the production or is the producer's desire to depict himself as the hero putting the whole thing in jeopardy? I ... still don't know. He looks sincere. And I like the slightly wide-eyed delivery. So far, so good!
02:11 - 02:21. Gorgeous. Works well with Todd's voice over.
02:22 - 02:26. "... I do not fear the Klingon Empire!"
Alright, I elaborated on my nitpicks, but that's ALL they are. Honestly, this is brilliant work, through and through. And most of my complaints are either subjective or based on a different opinion about Star Trek canon. At that, for a number of shots, I had to work to find a complaint.
Excellent trailer. Not going to be a pixel peeper, just going to enjoy it!.
Well I'm very much looking forward to it. And I think Alec will be able to carry the role just fine. Of course, you can never please everyone.
oooooookayyyy - Psion might got a bit too excited here. But thanks for taking the time
Given that we only have a few more days for a tiny bit of tweaking until we have a locked cut, the only shots that I might be touching are the city shots. I am very happy with the Klingons hovering over the city and I am happy with the ruins stuff. I am still thinking about the laser hitting and the beauty shot.
All the background stuff of the actors were done by Tommy Kraft, he might also be still working on his shots.
We´ll see... Given that this is basically a one-man-show (or two-man-show) in terms of effects, we had about a day or two to complete one shot - compared to a usual rate of a week per shot with a team in big budget productions. So it might not be all 100%, but we tried our best.
Sir, you and Tommy did an outstanding job! Honestly, I am not sure I have ever seen 'perfect fx' in any movie I have ever watched. Normally, if you try hard enough, you can pick things apart... I am more excited now, than ever before, to see Axanar!
I agree, the ruins scene looked pretty solid to me, and it 'felt' pretty solid. I am really jazzed about the look and feel!
P.S. Psion, it is good to see that you love Trek so much! Long live Star Trek!
Not to worry, Tobias. I think Psion made it pretty clear that what he was going out of his way for nits to pick and also did a good job of making clear that much of what he was saying came from the kinds of differences of opinions that anyone can have.
I certainly have no qualms. This is gonna be a great ride!
I have to admit, following this project, I was skeptical that it would be another run-of-the-mill fanfilm where there are characters that do "Star Trek" instead of following a story. But this looks fabulous. I am so excited for this I hope to see much more in the future.
Tobias, Diriel, and MikeH -- Thanks for accepting the spirit in which my post was intended. Honestly, I watched the trailer five times before I started getting nitpicky. It's just phenomenal work.
Tobias -- RE the Klingons over the city shot: And I totally get that you like it ... it's a very cool shot. Besides, it's canon now that these ships not only take off and land, but they're submersible, too. Even without all of that, if this was the first time we ever saw something like that from a familiar Star Trek ship, it's ... eerie and terrifying that a Klingon ship would do that. Do you know what it reminds me of? The Martian War Machines from War of the Worlds (especially the George Pal version). I almost hope there's that familiar mechanical cricket noise as they sweep the rubble with their scanners.
It says a lot when numerous people admit "I have watched it several times now...", hey, me too!
LOL -- not only have I watched multiple times it ... I've downloaded it and keep forcing people to watch it with me. I think I should G+ and Tweet this thing, too.
I've also stumbled across a wonderful series of videos done by Mark Edward Lewis who is doing the sound effects work on the Axanar projects, apparently. He goes into a lot of detail about how he's doing the show's sound design.
I think this is the first one. Highly recommended. Is there no end to the talent in this production?!
Heck yeah! Share, Share, and Share! More is better!
I am sceptical, I know. Maybe too much... but the teaser exactly proved my point - for me.
I am not familiar with Alec's acting skills and I don't want to sound too negative. It's just the Sheep amongst Wolves comparison. Hopefully the good shepard (aka Director) makes sure, he's doing fine and gets his Wolfskin!
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